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Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63130

Prof Claire Robinson PhD, BDes, BA(Hons), BA

Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Creative Arts

College of Creative Arts

Claire Robinson has been Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Creative Arts (CoCA) since January 2012. Previous academic leadership roles include: CoCA Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Operations) 2009-2011 and Head, Institute of Communication Design (2005 – 2008). In 2009 Claire was the Director of Public Diplomacy and Outreach in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Claire's research interest is focused on the visual communication of political messages. She has developed original models whereby the process, role and impact of meaning-exchange through visual imagery is better understood, particularly in the context of political leadership, market-orientation and election campaigning. Her research has been disseminated through designs, international peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and international conferences.

Claire is a frequent media commentator on New Zealand politics. She is a regular panel member on TV One's current affairs programme Q + A. Claire was a finalist in the Education category of the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards in 2017, and has twice been a finalist in the Arts and Culture category of the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards. Claire tweets as @spinprofessor.

Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Colllege of Creative Arts and Professor of Communication Design

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  • Doctor of Philosophy - Massey University (2006)
  • Bachelor of Design - Victoria University (1996)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Victoria University (1987)
  • Bachelor of Arts - Victoria University (1982)

Prizes and Awards

  • Gold pin for On the Fence 2017 - Designers Institute of New Zealand (2018)
  • Women of Influence Awards, Finalist in the Arts and Culture Category - Fairfax NZ/Westpac New Zealand (2017)
  • Red Dot, Honorable mention for Vote Local, Claire Robinson, Tim Parkin and Karl Kane - Red Dot (2017)
  • Designers Institute of New Zealand, Gold Pin for Vote Local, Design+Democracy Project - Designers Institute of New Zealand (2017)
  • Finalist, Wellingtonian of the Year, Education Category - Wellingtonian of the Year (2017)
  • Good Design® Selection for 2017 for VoteLocal in the Social Innovation category. Awarded by Good Design Australia and their Good Design Awards Jury. The jury said "An incredibly innovative approach with a strong value proposition that tackles a very relevant and pressing issue. This is a ground breaking initiative that has the ability to be scaled up and foster better outcomes for representative politics at a time when our world needs it most." - Good Design Australia (2017)
  • Australia New Zealand Internet Award 2016 for On the Fence in the Information category. - InternetNZ and auDA (australian domain administration) (2016)
  • On the Fence (NRO1) won the Information Award at the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards (ANZIA) in Melbourne for excellence online. The ANZIA awards are an annual event, held jointly by InternetNZ and auDA, celebrating the achievements of organisations, businesses and individuals who excel in delivering online content that is accessible, innovative, informative and secure. - Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards (2016)
  • Finalist in 2015 Women of Influence Awards, Arts and Culture category - Westpac and Fairfax (2015)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Political communication

Visual Communication Design

Political Marketing


21st Century Citizenship, Design – for Commerce, Community and Culture

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Built Environment And Design (120000):
Communication and Media Studies (200100): Consumption and Everyday Life (200203): Cultural Studies (200200):
Design History and Theory (120301): Design Practice and Management (120300): Digital and Interaction Design (120304):
Languages, Communication And Culture (200000): Screen and Media Culture (200212):
Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design) (120307)

Research Outputs

Teaching and Supervision

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Co-supervisor 0 2

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Annette O'Sullivan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Wool Bale Stencils: A Design History of New Zealand Branding and Visual Identity 1850-2019
  • 2014 - Patricia Thomas - Doctor of Philosophy
    "Large letter'd as with thundering shout" An analysis of Typographic Posters Advertising Emigration to New Zealand 1839-1875

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